Miraculous March

Waking up to the rain on a Saturday morning was somehow a comforting thing. Of course, a sunny start with the promise of some warmth would have been preferable but she had to admit that at 6.30 on a Saturday morning when many were perhaps having a lie in, the quiet sound of the rain was a reassurance. At least nature seemed to know what was going on.

It was grey and the rain looked likely to be an all day affair. The garden would no doubt benefit but she couldn't see herself getting out there any time soon. That was the thing with gardens she thought. You really do have to just go with it sometimes because with the best will in the world, there was no way to really control nature. She wasn't a hardy gardener like one of her aunts who would be out there no matter the weather if the plants required it. Dead heading, re-potting, taking cuttings, sewing seeds, there was always something. These days, the seasons didn't seem so clear and she wondered if that really was what global warming looked like. Daffodils out in January and blossom already appearing on the trees. Was nature confused by human activity or did she know something we didn't? She couldn't tell.

In her younger years, she too would have been outside at any opportunity and this had been a constant battle for her parents. They were people who came from warmer climes and hadn't understood a need to be outside when it was cold. As a child, the woman had always wanted to be outside, wanting to sit in the apple tree in the garden and look out over the rooftops. She smiled, recalling even now the sense of triumph she'd felt when she had climbed into the tree by herself. She had been so delighted and when she had eventually managed to get a piece of wood and lay it between two branches to make a seat, her happiness was complete. She felt like Huckleberry Finn, the boy who had endless adventures in the book she had been given for Christmas.

She wondered if children now would be so pleased with a plank of wood and an apple tree. It was about boredom in part she thought and this had been a topic in the news for the week. The inability of young people to be ok with being bored. She was often bored as a child. Growing up in the 70s was really boring and that's what made it so much more interesting than now she thought. We had no choice but to go out and find something to do and this reminded her of the TV programme Why Don't You. Surely everyone of her age would remember that? The song itself was a political commentary really..“why don't you just switch off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead. Sitting at home, watching tv, turn it off its no good for me. Whhyyyy don't you? Whhyyy don't you? Go go go.”

Was that it? Did she really remember a show from 40 years ago? She'd loved the programme. As she had loved Bagpuss and Mr Benn and all the cartoons and even Little House on the Prairie. She was really into TV as a child as most of them were she realised but the thing that had saved her generation was that it wasn't available 24 hours a day.

She tried to imagine what it would have been like to always have a screen available and to have access to the whole world. It must be horrible she thought. It would never have occurred to her child self that when she was an adult, she would be able to watch tv all day every day from her hand if she chose to. Would she had chosen to? She hoped not but she suspected that given half a chance, she would be like today's children and consume whenever she could.

There had been reports in the news all week about the inability of children to be bored and to be able to stand their own company without needing external input. The death of boredom was being cited as the reason for so many of the troubles that children were facing but this felt a little too simple to the woman who had a life time's experience of feeling she was bored and then finding something that interested her.

She thought the problems were more likely to do with having over stretched parents, ultra processed foods and a lack of time in fresh air amongst plants doing things communally. She was sure that most of the young ones who were already feeling burnt out through lack of boredom would benefit from some of the old ways. Limited tv because there were four channels not four hundred. Time with adults who weren't stressed to their eyeballs would be helpful. Perhaps proper food too but maybe now she was being a dreamer. And a hypocrite. She had lived on sweets as a child and hadn't eaten a green vegetable till she was 25. She'd like to say that it hadn't done her any harm because this seemed to be what people said about the harsh parts of the past but actually, it had done her harm and she had spent a long time rectifying that harm. Part of that recovery included the bone broth that had arrived the previous day.

Bone broth. The age old miracle of nature that promised to repair and restore and leave a person full of vitality and shiny hair. Well, hopefully not full of hair but certainly a facial glow would be nice and hair that was a little less straw like would be a post menopause bonus. It was going to be a mission because despite the lovely packaging and the booklet full of information and recipes, it smelt dreadful. Truly dreadful. It was suggested that one had a cup of the broth within 30 minutes of waking. This was to do with proteins and muscles and some such reasoning but there was no possible way, surely, that anyone could drink such a thing first thing?

The rain was still falling but the sun was up now and the woman knew that the broth programme was going to take some planning. Her lovely girlfriend had already turned down the offer to join her in the miraculous reboot that the bone broth promised. it was disappointing but understandable and so she had resigned herself to embarking alone on a journey of drinking the most dreadful smelling drink she ever tried. She flicked the switch on the kettle to make a second cup of tea. Perhaps she could have the broth for elevenses instead. Having it all would be a miracle.